Press release

Universities offer their open university courses to degree students

Student doing exercises
Finnish open universities provide support to degree students in the current exceptional situation where contact teaching at universities is suspended. A part of the distant teaching provision of spring and summer 2020 is offered free of charge to degree students of all universities.

Universities offer their open university studies designed for distant learning now temporarily free of charge. The national offering of open studies includes currently more than 100 courses and will be extended further during the spring. The studies are connected to the curricula of various departments and disciplines of different universities.

The studies gathered to the joint national provision of Finnish open universities are scheduled to spring and summer 2020, so that they would help the students utilise this exceptional time to proceed with their degree studies.

  • The nationally available free-of-charge open university courses are listed at:

Open university studies comply with the curricula of university faculties. The students themselves take care of the recognition of these studies in their respective universities.

Study opportunities for spring and summer

“The provision of open universities offers a variety of opportunities to those students whose study plans for this spring were suddenly changed due to the coronavirus situation,” says Tapio Määttä, Academic Rector of the University of Eastern Finland and the man behind the idea. “From the course selection, students can find studies that match their study plans or some interesting minor subject courses – perhaps also from fields one did not think to study in the first place.”

For this spring and summer, these studies can also help students in the possible case that a planned practice period or summer job is cancelled because of the exceptional situation.

“Universities are jointly taking care that all students can keep on studying despite the difficult situation,” says Jari Niemelä, Rector of the University of Helsinki. “It is a great effort for the students’ benefit. This is an excellent example of the fact that an exceptional setting is also a chance for innovations and new kinds of collaboration.”

University collaboration for students

The national study provision of open universities was opened on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3 p.m. It includes courses from the respective open universities of the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Jyväskylä and the Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, the University of Lapland, the University of Tampere, the University of Turku, the University of Vaasa, and Åbo Akademi.

For this open-for-all and free-of-charge national selection, each university selected courses that are basically designed for distant learning. The provision is thus based on university-specific offering, and it can be supplemented during spring.

The joint national course selection was designed and implemented as led and coordinated by the Open University Forum, which is a collaboration network for open universities.

“In an exceptional situation, the model for universities’ joint efforts is reinforced,” says rector Määttä. “This expression of support and its quick implementation in a challenging crisis deserve our great respect toward the open universities of Finland. They are an important part of universities, and their operation is associated with excellent flexibility and capability for collaboration. Open universities are the very part of universities, in which it is possible to carry out this kind of an idea in less than a week.”

“Open University helps,” says Jukka Lerkkanen, the chair of the Open University Forum from the University of Jyväskylä. “I am delighted that our networking between universities shows its power when it is needed. Our shared goal is that the students of Finnish universities receive high-quality teaching also in this exceptional situation.”

Recognition of prior learning in Tampere University